by Lauren Lipton
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dranoff Properties’ One Riverside high-rise residences is the first new construction of its kind in Center City since the financial market meltdown of 2008.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police Officer Wayne Arnold Arrested For Allegedly Choking Woman Unconscious
It’s at 25th and Locust Streets at the entrance to the Schuylkill River Trail. But it wasn’t that far back when it was something else.
“The park in front of our building was called Needle Park, and I don’t think I have to go into a description of why it was called Needle Park,” said CEO Carl Dranoff.
This is just the latest project from Dranoff’s vision of what Philadelphia and its neighborhoods can and have become.
“Our history in this city has been that of being a pioneer. We go into new, undiscovered but promising neighborhoods. We build a big anchor project, the neighborhood takes off, and then others follow behind me. We started in Old City in the late ’70s,” Dranoff said. “It wasn’t even called Old City. Our first large building there was the Wireworks. It was an old furniture store at 3rd and Race. People thought we were nuts because nobody lived in Old City.”
And the rest is history. Dranoff Projects dot the city.READ MORE: 'THIS IS HOME': Watch Zach Ertz's Emotional Goodbye To Philadelphia After Being Traded To Cardinals
“Philadelphia is now discovered. We’ve been under the rock for too long. It’s an amazing city. We’re coming into our own with the eds and meds that we have with the technology, with riverfronts, the wonderful outdoor cafes, the parks and recreation that we have. There’s really no place like it,” said Dranoff.
Future projects include a lot of development along the rivers and additions to his current projects on the Avenue of the Arts.
Dranoff says, in his opinion, the Avenue of the Arts has the potential to be one of the greatest streets in North America.
He calls it a combination of Michigan Avenue, Park Avenue, and Broadway all in one.
Listen to all the unique details of One Riverside and Dranoff’s vision for Philadelphia.MORE NEWS: Man Arrested After Road Rage Shooting Outside Allentown Day Care, Police Say